Where to start with Uncharted 2? Perhaps the amazing train scene, one of the breathtakingly large puzzles or the opening scene, even? There are just too many [and varied parts] in the game to choose from to be able to pick one standout moment. But the real genius in Uncharted 2 is the way it manages to combine all these show stopping events into a coherent and quite frankly brilliant story. Helped by the wonderfully animated and scripted characters who have depth and personalities not yet seen in a videogame before. They can actually act and respond to each other with gestures without needing to rely on dialogue, they really do convey a sense of emotion.
The game starts with a bang and it does not let up. It handles the pacing like a good movie with suspenseful parts following all out action with a natural flow that means game continues to create rise from peak to peak. The game play is solid, Drake responds to your controls perfectly, making jumps, getting into cover and shooting all done with great accuracy. In fact I only found myself die twice through Drake not doing what I was trying to but this could have possibly been from my own mistakes. The campaign lasts a good 10-12 hours, which is slightly longer than its predecessor and felt like the perfect length considering the appeal to play it over and over again. There are plenty of rewards to unlock as well with render modes, character skins and insightful making of videos.
So the single-player is solid with levels that vary throughout the game keeping the player involved with the story and characters right up until its thrilling climax, which is probably one of the most spectacular seen in video games. But how does the multiplayer compare? Can Drake and friends really be fun to play in a competitive multiplayer environment? The short answer; yes. The long answer absolutelysupercalifragilisticexpialidociously yes.
Multiplayer comes in 2 main varieties; competitive and cooperative, which is not too original although the modes within these variations do contain some neat new touches. Co-op consists of 3 players working together in either an arena with continuous waves of enemies attacking you or you and your two friends battling your way through point a to b. Both of these modes work wonderfully and still remain a competitive edge with you trying to outscore your team-mates whilst helping each other similar to Call Of Duty World At War.
The competitive multiplayer is also outstanding offering many modes from capture the flag plunder to king of the hill to your standard deathmatch fare. These are all made infinitely more interesting thanks to the maps adding the ability to climb up several layers. There really are many places to explore when playing finding that great sniper spot or a new weapon pickup. The combat is great too even allowing for stealth kills from behind and blind firing from cover. It’s the first time I’ve played a multiplayer game where cover has been successfully implemented and in fact necessary to achieving good results.
There is even a money earning system in the game through experience from playing matches online with certain tasks earning you more money e.g. knocking someone off a ladder or getting a kill streak. You can also earn money from playing through the single-player mode by finding treasures and completing other similar tasks. This can all be used to unlock rewards like the aforementioned videos etc but multiplayer perks like more ammo or even handicaps. Yes Uncharted 2 allows you to prestige in the highest manner possible by allowing handicapping yourself with half health or your enemies can see you through walls but by playing with these you can earn more money. It’s a great idea to include which should help level the playing field so newcomers are not daunted when dipping their toe into the rich vastness that is Uncharted 2’s multiplayer ocean.
It has been a joy to review this game and I am really struggling to find any bad points from my experience with it. The AI has been exceptional, the level of detail in the graphics is mind boggling and the controls are so responsive and perfect. This really is the best game on PS3 and of this current console generation, you simply can not miss it.
This review is based on a retail copy of the PS3 version of Uncharted 2: Among Thieves provided by Naughty Dog.
Written by: Trev
- Contributing Editor